Along with much of the country right now, I am captivated by the commentary surrounding the upcoming election—with sharper lines drawn between the parties’ most ardent followers and a seemingly ever-narrower space for thoughtful discussion. Despite the constant cacophony of pundits and public figures arguing over who is winning and who is losing on any particular day (which—I admit—I read voraciously), I am struck by the deafening silence on the issue I consider most critical: the core values we as a country believe should drive how we make decisions.
“Values” is a loaded term, especially when it comes to politics and religion. Too often co-opted by those on the extremes and ceded by those in the center, it becomes code for where one stands on abortion, same sex marriage and other hot-button issues. The effect is that thoughtful debate guided by a framework of clearly articulated values is subjugated to posturing and sound bites—and leaders focused more on declaring who they stand against rather than what they stand for.
Many exceptional individuals counter this prevailing norm, explicitly applying values to their leadership. Read More »